The North East Peace Congress (NEPC) says ex-Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, should be blamed for the worsening insecurity in the region.
According to the group, the Borno Central lawmaker championed the call for the removal of the immediate past Service Chiefs, a move it says has resulted in calamity.
Since the retirement of the former military heads in January, the insecurity across the nation has deteriorated.
From insurgency in the North-East, a new wave of kidnapping is the day’s order in the North-West and North-Central while secessionist has taken the South-East and South-West.
But in a statement signed by its chairman, Alhaji Sadiq Ali, on Wednesday, the NEPC said all these would have been avoided had the immediate service chiefs remained in office.
Ali said Shettima spearheaded the advocacy to reshuffle the military architecture, hence should be held responsible for the implication.
The group, however, demanded that the Senator tell the world the truth behind his “agenda”, knowing full well the outcome that will follow.
Read the full statement below:
North East Peace Congress is saddened by the loss of 30 Nigerian troops of the 156 Battalion in Mainok area, Borno State even as we have become increasingly worried about the growing fatalities on the side of government troops since the change of guard that ushered in the new military chiefs.
Our worry is further heightened by the rapid degeneration of the security situation across the country as seen in the ascendancy of the militant wing of the terrorist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Eastern Security Network (ESN), which became more daring since the current Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria assumed duty. IPOB/ESN was never daring enough to attack anywhere in Nigeria on the scale they are now doing.
Equally on the rise and more brazen is the spate of kidnapping by foreign militias that have practically taken over the entire country. What was once limited to certain geographical locations under the predecessors of the current service chiefs has now become nationwide since they came into office.
The sense of helplessness presented by the spread of insecurity to once secured areas is worsened by the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) regrouping and unleashing casualties on the Nigerian military on a scale it has not been able to attempt in the four years preceding the coerced exit of the immediate past military chiefs.
North East Peace Congress squarely blames the continuous killings by Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists, IPOB/ESN, kidnappings and failing security situation, particularly in the northeast on the change of service chiefs.
We are pained that the hurried change of Service Chiefs, which was a Strategic Miscalculation and Political Suicide canvassed by some selfish and self-seeking North East Leaders, is fueling this orgy of violence while most of those that brought their region and the entire country to this sorry pass have tactically fled into safe zones in Nigeria and abroad.
For us, Senator Kashim Shettima is the face of the self-centred Borno leaders who canvassed for a change in service chiefs without thoughts for the consequences that are now being visited on the country and the northeast in double portions. Senator Kashim Shettima spearheaded the advocacy to change the service chiefs. We, therefore, hold Senator Shettima responsible, and we demand that he tell the world the true intention and agenda behind his lobby for the service chiefs to be replaced knowing fully well that this is the outcome that will follow.
We demand that Senator Kashim Shettima immediately deploys the same tactics and resources he committed to hounding the former service chiefs out of office into pressuring the incumbents to seek help from their predecessors so that the military can again have a grip on the situation.